Monday, November 03, 2008

Preseason Top 25: No. 2 Mater Dei

2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Coach: Gary McKnight (797-74, 26 years at Mater Dei)
2007-08 record: 35-1, Division II state champion (No. 10 in final National Prep Poll)
Top players: F David Wear (6-10), Sr.; F Travis Wear (6-10), Sr.; PG Gary Franklin (6-3), Jr; G Tyler Lamb (6-5), Sr.; F Andy Brown (6-8), Sr.
Team strength: Size, experience
Question mark: Depth
Toughest games: Dec. 19-23 City of Palms Classic; Jan. 3 vs. Campbell Hall; Jan. 19 vs. Chicago Whitney Young at HoopHall Classic; Feb. 7 vs. St. Benedict's (N.J.)
Outlook: There might not be a better starting five in the country than Mater Dei's. Each player is a major Division I recruit, including the Wear twins, who have pledged to play at North Carolina. The duo are almost identical on the court with each possessing a high level of skill and good low post moves. David averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds last season while Travis contributed 16 points and 10 boards per game. Brown, who has offers from Stanford and Arizona, is an excellent wing player who can really defend and crash the boards. As a junior, he averaged 14 points and six rebounds. Mater Dei's outlook at guard improved vastly when Lamb, a UCLA pledge, enrolled in September. As a sophomore, he averaged 27 points, nine rebounds, and five assists playing at Colony (Ontario, Calif.). The point guard position is in good hands with emerging junior Franklin running the show. He is a good outside shooter who might transition into a 2-guard in college.

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